A teenager who attended Brighton Area Schools and admitted to raping a younger middle school student will not be allowed to return to that district once he’s released from a juvenile detention facility in Monroe County.
The teen originally faced dozens of charges related to accusations that he raped three middle school students whom he started a relationship with via social media. As part of a plea deal, he admitted to raping a 13 year-old middle school student and other lesser charges related to the assault of two 12 year-old girls. He was convicted as a juvenile.
Livingston County Juvenile Court Referee Chelsea Thomason handed down a sentence of 45 days back in October. Monday would have marked the end of that sentence. Yet the convicted teen was not released. Thomason said at an evaluation hearing Monday that the teen still needs to undergo a psychological evaluation, and a “safety plan” needs to be created as conditions of the teen’s release.
Bryan says he’s the father of one of the victims. He said he wasn’t happy with the 45-day sentence, saying that wasn’t part of the plea deal that victims’ families approved.
“We agreed to [the plea deal] because they were going to put him into rehabilitation, and then the judge overrode it. It does not make any logical sense,” Bryan said. (Michigan Radio is not using the last name of the father to protect the identity of the victim.)
Livingston County Prosecutor William Vailliencourt’s office reportedly challenged the plea deal, but it didn’t get changed.
In addition to not returning to Brighton Area Schools as a student, Thomason ordered the convicted teen not to step foot on the property of either Brighton Area Schools or another nearby district where one of the victims goes to school. He can also not attend school-sponsored events at other locations. In addition, the teen is not allowed to access the internet except under supervision for school, he cannot spend any nights away from his home and he cannot host sleepovers. The teen and his family members are also prohibited from contacting any of the victims or their families.
Before the evaluation hearing, a crowd of roughly 75 people demonstrated their support for the three victims. Demonstrators held signs reading “#standwiththesegirls” and chanted.
“There’s women in their 30s and 40s that get raped and won’t even come forward and do this. They don’t have the strength, they don’t have the heart. But these girls are doing it,” said demonstrator Janet Davies. “They are heroic.”
In order to be released, the teenager will need to undergo a psychological evaluation and a “safety plan” must be completed, again according to Thomason. There will also be a hearing for a request of restitution for the victims, which Thomason scheduled for January 30.
Bryan said he was proud of the victims for saying something about the assaults, which he says prompted the police investigation and eventual conviction.
“It’s been tough, they’re going through therapy. They’re having their issues but they’re going to be strong for taking it head-on, and I’m proud of them,” he said.